At the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, global leaders and public figures met to discuss government policies and business strategies. Under the theme History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies, the forum was held under a backdrop of a world in flux – one that is truly at a turning point.
Digital technology is still a key enabler for a better future
While digital technology has historically been a focus at many of the previous forums, it still continues to play a large role in enabling change today. At the heart of this growth is innovation, which the WEF believe is critical to the future wellbeing of society and to drive economic growth. The Technology Pioneer community – launched in 2000 – is composed of companies from around the world who are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations.
Discussing ways in which technology could change the world by 2027, the current Technology Pioneer community outlined their predictions on how technology will enable a better future. With a focus on the food crisis and access to education, two of the current cohort weighed in.
Julie Gerdeman, CEO of Everstream, believes that supply chain intelligence will solve the food crisis and that, by 2027, predictive supply chain technology will enable companies to shift from reactive response to proactive action, keeping store shelves stocked and food flowing worldwide.
Access to quality education – and the way we think about education as a whole – will be driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), according to Asude Altintas, Co-Founder and CEO of Twin Science. Used to understand a child’s interests, AI will suggest learning journey steps that build skills and competencies relevant to the child – and the technology-driven world that they live in.
Businesses making a difference – tech4good
Even beyond the confines of the WEF communities, businesses are accepting the challenge to utilise tech for good to drive global sustainability endeavours.
Organisations such as Tesla are innovating to reduce the global carbon footprint – through initiatives such as solar roofing, which utilises solar tiles to cover the entire roof’s surface, enabling the home to stay off-grid and reduce emissions. Saltwater Brewery re-engineered the way that they package their products, creating six-pack rings that are not only biodegradable, but are edible too. Rens has created a running shoe that is made from coffee and recycled plastic bottles – and are indistinguishable from shoes made in traditional ways.
Statistics show that consumers are four times more likely to buy from a brand with a strong purpose, and businesses are cleverly using technology to create sustainable products, while ensuring that the customer’s experience of utilising these products is still positive – enabling them to make a sustainable difference easily: simply by making a specific brand choice.
The future of tech4good
While tech4good is not a new concept, it has gained momentum slowly in mainstream arenas. The growing awareness by consumers about the global climate crisis is driving this change, and they are actively choosing brands and businesses that are using technological advances to adapt and innovate to drive a sustainable future – with profits and shareholder value as a result.